KING - Two keys to success

These are two universal keys. They will open the door to success for you in more than one endeavor. Not just in emini trading, but in practically any other field you choose to seek success in. However, when talking about them I use examples that refer to trading emini futures if only so as not to sound overly abstract.

The first one can be called "actions versus activities." Let me tackle it right away, before I even mention the other one. 

The point is that very often we engage in what can be called "activities" rather than "actions" and while there is nothing wrong about doing so per se, there actually might be. Namely, it is wrong to confuse the two, and I suspect that this happens more often than we realize it. Activities are not actions, activities are easier, they come naturally, we just tend to gravitate towards them and may even be spending a lot of time on them, often fooling themselves that these are actions or at least that they are as important as actions. We may think that we are getting somewhere indulging in them, but that's hardly ever so.

Want a simple example? Writing this article was an action, merely thinking about writing it was pretty much an activity. The latter came very naturally, with no effort whatsoever. Another example? Here we go, and it's quite related to the trading business too. A lot of wannabe traders spend an inordinate amount of time on various online trading forums, instead of practicing the craft of trading. They may think that the former is as important as the latter, but it is not. Too often we think that perusing forums is like doing a homework. It's not, unless you are a total beginner, but even then I would very much discourage you from staying on a forum for too long. I quit using trading forums years ago after wasting a full year and then some on one of them and logging over 1000 posts within a year or so and I am still baffled that it took me so long to realize that I was wasting so much of my time on so little. 

And so if you don't see me mention KING's forum as part of KING's package, that's because there is none and that has been on purpose. When it comes to KING, you already have almost all you need for KING is a comprehensive emini trading course. Notice that I said "almost" and that's because you still need to spend some time to master it. Just like many others who became good at day trading emini markets following KING's concepts. 

They did not get there because of some forum, but because they applied themselves where it is most important. What they did was simply practice trading using KING ideas. In other words, they took action, and they kept at it until it started paying off, until they started seeing results. In some cases awesomely great results. The KING forum will come, but just as KING is so different from so many other courses out there, its forum too will be different. I want to make it better, more useful than most forums are and the main way to accomplish it is to ensure that it motivates its participants to focus on actions rather than activities, that it motivates and helps them to grow as opposed to keeping them wasting their time on pointless discussions as it quite often happens to be the case on many forums, trading forums sadly being more of the rule than an exception to it. 

There is one thing in the KING manual that I like to stress and that I already mentioned it in these pages on more than one occasion. I refer to it as "the greatest threat to one's trading career" and I do not think by calling it this way I am blowing things out of proportion. The reason I mention it here is because this threat has a lot to do with "actions versus activities." Not knowing of it, not realizing it may cost you a lot of time for the simple reason that you will end up engaging in activities rather than actions. Knowing this threat and taking it seriously is bound to prevent it.

Now, that does not mean yet that you should totally abstain from anything that resembles any activity. Not at all, that would hardly be a good idea. There is room for activities in our life too, just make sure you do realize when you are engaging in one and don't delude yourself that this is a part of something you should be doing to get you closer to your goal because very often it is not the case and knowing it is important if you want to stay focused on actions. Differentiating between these two things ("activities" versus "actions") is absolutely vital to maintaining self-discipline necessary to succeed in practically any field.

Activities are fine and avoiding them can be even counter-productive, but it's probably better to indulge in those that are not too closely related to the actions we need to take to reach our goals or else we may end up being fed up with what we aiming at. To be more concrete, let me offer you an example. If you aim at becoming a good trader, then focus on practicing your trading craft first and foremost and that's what your "action" should be while at the same time you may want to abstain from spending too much time (or spending it at all) on trading forums, instead choosing your activities from among those that are more likely to add some balance to your life such as reading an interesting book, watching a good movie, lifting weights a few times a day, going to a gym at least once a week, having a beer or two with your friends, or simply taking a walk every day for an hour or so. 

If you do all these things, or at least some of them, then even spending some time on a trading forum may not bore you to tears (a clear sign of its own that you are overdoing it or are too good for forums already), but I have not visited a trading forum for years and I am still alive and mentally fitter than ever. However, instead of hanging out on a forum or two, you may as well consider writing your trading journal. You may easily find it much more useful for your growth as a trader compared to participating in some trading forum. The more active you are in what you do, the better overall as this way you are more likely to reach the stage when you really own the game, which should be your ultimate goal. Most of those you will ever meet on the Internet trading boards not only are still owned by the game, but sadly are doing precious little to change this state of things. Moreover, keeping the trading journal brings you more in touch with your inner core, with your intuition, which can hardly be overvalued. Being able to rely on one's intuition in a field as complex as e-mini trading is certainly a big plus. But to rely on it, you first need to develop and trust it. Practicing trading as often as you can and keeping the trading journal are two good ways to get there. Let me also note that just like practicing your trading craft, keeping the journal is surely one of the things we could consider "actions." It's something that requires a deliberate effort, a bit of self-discipline. 

Let me stress once more that banishing or even merely avoiding activities, even those harmful, makes little sense for this is hardly an effective way to accomplish anything. Plus, you probably don't want to be that hard on yourself. We do engage in them all the time, quite spontaneously too. They are natural and hard to get resist. Instead of resisting them, it's better to consciously observe what you are doing. This way sooner or later you will determine if what you are doing is yet another activity and if you persist in merely being aware that this is not the most effective way of using your time, you will most likely abandon it on your own. But sometimes, you simply need to take a break. So take it, but choose a smart way of doing so, a way that will make your life more balanced and so ultimately more relaxing. What's important here is that by becoming more aware of your behavioral patterns and being able to differentiate between "actions" and "activities" in an impassionate way, they will begin to control you less. 

The other key can be called "leaving your comfort zone." And since it's often related to the first one, let me start by elaborating on this connection. 

Why do we so often engage in various activities to the detriment of doing what would be considered taking action? First of all, as already mentioned above, because it's so easier, it comes naturally, and we all most of the time would rather be doing nothing than doing something that requires some effort. Now, that's one reason: being lazy, in other words, even if this may sound simplistic a bit. But there is another reason, a bit deeper one, of why this happens. That's because we don't like leaving our comfort zone, and activities rarely ever require us to do so. Activities are often pleasant, or at least comfortable enough, and so no wonder we love to indulge in them. Taking actions quite often requires us to leave our comfort zone. And we try to defend ourselves against it. 

The comfort zone is where we want to be, where we want to stay forever, where we feel secure. We don't want to give up our security. We do hate losing it because of external circumstances, we feel threatened when this happen, and so no wonder that we also are very reluctant to lose it of our own volition. But there is no security in the world, it's just a nice and comforting illusion that there is one and we cannot grow if we unable to embrace this simple fact. Because if there is one thing truly universal about the human life, it's this life's insecurity. How you handle it makes all the difference. It determines what kind of life you live. But we need to embrace it in order to live normal, let alone, fulfilling, meaningful lives.

Ironically enough, since the true security in life does not exist, thus making it the most sought after thing on Earth, there are people out there more than willing to sell it to you. Fake gurus, that is. Or perhaps we should call them by their proper name, that of "con men." As much as I hate talking about it, I can't help but bring this issue up in this context, too. It bothers me, it always will. Particularly if they also charge thousands of dollars for their services, which only too often happens to be about the only "redeeming" quality of theirs. I bring it up here for it strikes at the heart of the matter in question. Because not only do these people with their guarantees of 1 point a day, double your money back guarantee, or whatever the most recent popular trick of liberating you of your hard earned money happens to be, have no clue about the trading business and the risks it involves, they are fundamentally wrong about the business of life. 

We, modern humans, are as unwilling to leave our safety zones as our ancestors were unwilling to leave their caves, but the progress would not have occurred if they had stayed in them forever. The progress is not always fast, though. In fact, most of the time it seems pretty slow. That's okay, things don't always have to be fast, success does not have to and very rarely does happen overnight, but if you want to succeed in life, you need to be willing to leave your safety zone sooner or later. What's more, you want to make it a habit. Yes, sometimes there is a price to pay for it: your friends may not approve of it and even your family may happen to be against it, but true friends and a loving family should always stand with you. Will you then be losing that much if they abandon you? There might be other risks too, but the rewards often are much greater, and so the risks often are definitely worth taking. 

I like to believe that when you dare succeed, when you take that first decisive step, the Universe conspires to help you out. I say so because I have experienced it more than once. The KING project that I embarked on some two years ago is the most recent example of that in my life, but far from being the only one. 

I did not have to start it. I am not even sure how much credit I truly deserve for launching it because if it were not for Katherine, my first student in this project, I doubt I would have never embarked on it. When Kathy asked me to mentor her, I was a bit reluctant at first. I did not think I needed it for anything. I was doing just fine without it. I thought of all the effort this would require, of all the time I would need to invest in it, and I was hesitating a bit. Maybe even more than a bit. Yet, eventually I decided to go for it. I left my safety zone and embarked on an adventure that might have been a waste of my time and a disappointment, but turned out to be a great success that made me a better trader, gave rise to a new business, and through this business enabled me to help a large number of my clients become better traders, in some cases spectacularly so. So while I am not sure how much credit I have earned for launching KING, I think that at the very least I deserve all the credit for leaving my safety zone. It may seem like a small thing, but it paid off big time.

I like to quote Goethe, a famous German writer, poet, and scientist who put it this way: 

Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.

These are one of the greatest words of wisdom ever put in print, although, sadly, not everyone out there seems to be as convinced of it as I am. I say so because I know quite well how many people still struggle to overcome their fear of success. Ever since I launched KING, I hear from them all the time. Some have been burned before, often by putting too much trust in the promises of fake gurus, others have been looking for the trading success in all wrong places. I think I can help these folks as long as they are willing to help themselves by leaving their safety zone and giving KING a fair try. And then there are those whom I cannot help. These are fellows whose paranoia makes it totally impossible for them to succeed. I am unable to help them, I know this all too well, and so whenever I deal with them, the best piece of advice I can give them is not to buy KING; it's simply not for them, and neither is day trading. They will forever remain in their safety zone firmly clinging to the belief that no one out there is really making money in this business. Sad as it is, it may be hard to find a better example of one's beliefs becoming one's reality. Be careful not only about what you wish for, but also, and perhaps even more, about what you choose to believe. 

Because as Henry Ford put it, 

Whether you think you can or you cannot, you are right.

The observation that there is no security in life is hardly anything new. In fact, it's quite ancient. It is, for instance, at the core of Buddhist teachings, the religion or way of life that dates back centuries before Christ. While you don't have to be a Buddhist to be a good trader, I am convinced that as a trader you will most likely find the Buddhist philosophy of life resonating well with you. It is also safe to say that becoming more familiar with this philosophy will make you better, more sophisticated a trader. How Buddhism resolves the problem of insecurity? Quite simply: by advocating to embrace it. Every Buddhist would then certainly agree that leaving one's comfort zone is not only the right thing to do, but it's the only thing to do for your safety zone is merely an illusion.

To succeed at trading emini futures is really no different than to succeed at countless other endeavors. Yes, the former may be harder in some ways, but whether it is succeeding as a day trader or as a writer or an actor, the fundamental keys to it are the same. And two of them, quite important too, is what this article was about.

Reading this article is not something you should consider an action for it was more of an activity, unless you are one of those people who have to be forced to read. But taking notes or at least a note of what was said in it and putting it into practice would certainly count as an action. 

To conclude this lengthy piece, let me quote one of the most inspiring words you may ever come across for which we are indebted to Marianne Williamson. I don't think you need to be a religious person to appreciate them:

... Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.